Locke and Key Season 3 Ending, Explained: What Happens to the Keys?

Image Credit: Amanda Matlovich/Netflix

Netflix’s ‘Locke and Key’ follows the story of the Locke family who battles supernatural forces with the help of magical keys created by their ancestors. Over the course of three seasons, the three Locke siblings go through a lot of ups and downs, enjoying the perks of the keys while also meeting heartbreaking personal tragedies. In the end, they have to make the decision of holding on to the magic or letting it go. But before that, they have to use the keys one more time to save Matheson from the attack of the demons.

The third season ties up the loose strings, bringing the story to a fitting end for the Locke family. A lot of things are explained, while some are left untouched to keep the viewers pondering about it long after the story has ended. The last scene, especially, does that trick. If you’ve been thinking about it too, and wondering what it means for the future of the Locke family, we’ve got you covered. SPOILERS AHEAD

Locke and Key Season 3 Plot

After the events of the previous season, a lot of things have changed for the Lockes. Nina now knows everything about the keys, which has led to better communication between her and her children. She’s happier in this state, where she is better connected with her kids, except Tyler. Following the death of Jackie, he had decided to accept his fate as an adult and say goodbye to all the memories of the keys and the magic. He’s on a trip to Boston, and as he crosses the threshold of eighteen, his memories start slipping away.

Unbeknownst to the Lockes, Eden had brought back Frederick Gideon as an echo, who then killed her. Now that he knows about the keys and that he can’t take them from the Lockes, he brings back his two companions as echoes. Because they are not demons, they are free to take the keys from the Lockes. Gideon plans to get all the keys to open another Black Door and let all demons loose on humans.

Locke and Key Season 3 Ending: What Happens to the Keys?

Image Credit: Amanda Matlovich/Netflix

If one Black Door hadn’t caused enough trouble for people in Matheson, Gideon decides to open another portal. He discovers that he needs the power of all the keys to open a door to the other world, which is why he so dedicatedly attacks the Lockes. In the final fight, with the use of the Creation Key, the Lockes succeed in getting the Alpha Key. They stab Gideon with it and then throw him down the portal that he’d opened and notice something peculiar. It looks like the portal shortens a little when Gideon falls into it. As an experiment, Tyler throws the Head Key into the portal, which shortens further. This means that throwing all the keys in would slowly close the portal completely. And that’s where lies the dilemma.

The Locke family get their magic from the keys, which in turn are made from the Whispering Iron that came out of the Black Door. The Iron is simply the demons who didn’t get a human host. In the form of the keys, they still have the power to draw people to them. They demand to be used, which leads to further troubles. Eventually, the Lockes understand that for all the power that the keys bring them, the problems attached to them are tenfold. Over the time that they’ve meddled with the keys, a great number of innocent people have died across Matheson. If they hold on to the keys, then, no matter what they do, the same things will keep repeating, which is why they have to get rid of the keys once and for all.

The adults find it easier to accept this fact, owing to the many tragedies that they’ve faced because of them. Nina lost her husband, Tyler lost his girlfriend, and Kinsey came close to dying after her boyfriend turned out to be Dodge. The emotional stress that the keys have led them to is too much for them to keep doing the same thing over and over again. They have to close the portal, and they know that placing another door on it will not do the trick. Doors can be opened, as long as there are keys. Eventually, Bode has to accept that as well.

As a goodbye to the keys, the Lockes use two of them one last time to get closure with the death of Rendell. They use the Timeshift Key to visit him in the past, something that Bode had been vying to do ever since he discovered it. They spend time with Rendell, telling him about their lives and their decision to get rid of the keys. Even though he won’t remember it, they will, which is enough for them. They use the Memory Key to seal Kinsey and Bode’s memories of the keys and their magic so that the entire family remembers them even as an adult. And then, one by one, they throw in the keys, until all of them are gone and the portal is closed.

What Does the Whispering at the End Mean?

All’s well that ends well and after three seasons of upheavals that almost wrecked their lives, things finally come to an end for the Lockes when all the keys are gone. No magic keys means no reason for any demon or other entity to pursue them. This means a normal life with normal problems and no crossing paths with anything dangerous. But, as we’ve previously seen, trouble rarely parts ways with the Lockes, and even if so, not for long. Things rarely stay calm for them for a long stretch of time. Could the whispering at the end imply the same?

Since the beginning of the show, the whisperings have been associated with the discovery of the keys. Whenever a key wants to be found, it whispers to the Locke kids. The whispering that we hear at the end could mean that there are still a few keys hidden around Keyhouse. Now that all the other keys are gone, it is time for the yet undiscovered ones to come out and play. All the keys that Gideon had used to open the portal of his own were the ones that’d been used by the Lockes at one point or another. The portal was also rather small, compared to the real one behind the Black Door. So, it makes sense that less energy was required to close it, which the Lockes got from the keys they had at the time.

This, however, doesn’t say anything about the yet undiscovered keys. There’s a huge possibility that there are more out there because even Duncan, Ellie, and Erin, who’d known about the keys for more than thirty years, still didn’t know how many keys there were exactly. It means that even with all the keys that the Locke siblings discover over the course of three seasons, there could very well be more hidden around the house. This also falls in line with the comics, because the show left out a number of keys that were mentioned in the source material. So, does this mean that the Lockes and their keys will create more havoc in Matheson? Probably not.

With the show coming to end with its third season, the chances of getting Lockes in more problems with magic keys is rather improbable. This can also be explained by the fact that all their experiences have wisened them up. They know that the keys are never as good as they promise to be. So, even if they find new keys, they’ll most likely refrain from using them. The person most susceptible to falling prey to the allure of the keys is Bode. It was his curiosity that led to a lot of killings around Matheson. Hopefully, he’s learned his lesson too, especially with all the adults in the house strictly against using them. Even if he finds one, his family will talk him out of it and put it in a safe place where it can’t be found again for a very long time. Either this or the showrunners wanted to leave us with some chilly remnant of the story, something that would stick with us as the demons stick to humans in Matheson.

Read More: What Happens to the Black Door in Locke and Key? Is it Destroyed? Theories